DIY - Rubik's Cube - Blind Man's Cube - Metal Rubiks cube
9 Steps
This is a Rubik's cube the is shape-oriented rather than color oriented for solving in the dark or for those who are without sight. It is inspired of the now unavailable "Blind Man's Cube" that was made years ago by Politechinka. See: http://www.twistypuzzles.com/cgi-bin/puzzle.cgi?pid=63&allprices=1

This cube brings a unique characteristic to solving a Rubik's cube that no other cube does... the ability to say "I solved it without even looking at it once."

Rather than building hand-eye coordination, it builds hand-mind coordination.

I find that solving this cube is a challenge above and beyond a normal rubik's cube. It takes me significantly longer to solve than a normal cube. But as a result my speedcubing times on regular cubes have dropped exponentially. Because it uses areas of my brain a normal cube do not (memory/perspective... seeing it in touch and shapes rather than eyesight and color).

It is also a bit heavier than a normal rubik's cube... helping me build muscle/speed for my speedcubing (speedcube is where you try to solve it as fast as possible.)

## Step 1: What you need

To make this cube you will need the following:

-A Rubiks's Cube (authentic or fake)
-54 Uniquely Shaped Metal or Plastic Tabs (more on this in how-to)
-2 Part Epoxy for use with plastic/metals
-Toothpicks or like for mixing/applying epoxy
-Duct Tape
-Isopropyl Alcohol
-Paper Towel(s)

## Step 2: Obtain Rubik's Cube

First of all any rubik's cube will work. It is estimated that over 300 million authentic or knock-off Rubik's Cubes exist. This should cost (at time of typing this) around \$10 for a new authentic Rubik's cube. However there are a TON of them on E-Bay for much cheaper.

## Step 3: Obtain 54 Round or Raised Square Metal Tabs of 6 different raised shape designs

You are kinda on your own for this one, I pried mine off of an old chair in my garage and filed the backs off with a dremel. If using an authentic sized rubik's cube, these will need to be smaller than 5/8th's of an inch square, and preferably no deeper than 1/16th of an inch (or the cube will become noticably cumbersome in size). If you can only find 5 shapes... don't fret... remember that a single side missing shapes is still an identifyer (provided all other sides have identifyers). Other options (not as cool looking in my opinion) are sandpaper, wood, cardboard, plastic, etc. Scrapbook or craft stores might be a good place to shop for something like this.

WARNING 1: The Designs must FEEL different from each other. Each shape needs to have a distinguishing characteristic to differentiate it by touch rather than sight. THIS IS IMPERATIVE.

WARNING 2: It is best to ensure that each of the 6 shapes is quadratically symetric* in design (i.e. turning the shape 90 degrees yeilds same design as before turned). This ensures that after mixing and solving... the cube looks complete (note that one of my shapes does not follow this rule).

Many who are new to Rubik's cubes are unaware of the fact that if you were to draw arrows on each square of the cube when you buy it, solving it to perfection is not as easy as some pieces will not be soundly placed (arrows in all same directions). See picture for understanding... you see the colors are all in place... but the cube is not truly solved. Unless you know how to solve a cube like this... you will want to ensure the designs on the tabs are symetric as I mentioned.

• - I am not sure if this is even a word, it just made sense in my juvenile vocabulary.

## Step 4: Peel Stickers off Cube

I used my fingernail to remove, and then used isopropyl alcohol to deal with left-over adhesive. Also... the stickers are a TWO-PART sticker in that the color is covered by a second sticker of Clear-coat (this may not be the case in non-authentic or legacy Rubik's cubes). So make sure you get both.

## Step 5: Etch the cube in prep for Epoxy

Using your choice of a razor blade (careful!!!) etch the center of plastic squares with 8-way cross-hatch so that Epoxy will hold better to the etch than just the smooth plastic (this may not be necessary if the glue you use bonds to the plastic).

## Step 6: Etch back of metal tabs/pieces

Like you did with the center if the Rubik's cube centers... Using your choice of a razor blade (Serious... BE CAREFUL!!!) etch the backs of the metal tabs with a 8-way cross-hatch. To do this safely I layed a piece of duct-tape upside down and used two pieces of right-side -up duct tape, and laid the tabs down accordingly, then etched the back with a box-cutter knife with a new blade.

## Step 7: Clean cube and tabs with alcohol

Clean backs of tabs and surfaces with isopropyl (or your choice) of alcohol... this ensures the bond will not be effected by fingerprint oils and any other foreign materials.

WARNING: This will not harm an authentic Rubik's cube. If your cube is not authentic... it might be made from a form of Acrylic... if this is the case either SKIP THIS STEP, or use soap and water and let completly dry... as alcohol would melt/crack/damage your acrylic cube.

## Step 8: Epoxy pieces to Cube

Using a 2-part epoxy, bond each side of 9 shapes to the cube centers. Use as little as possible but ensure a complete bond.

NOTE: I would have used gorilla glue, but did not want to clamp these down (a necessary step requiring clamps I did not have). Also... Gorilla Glue (as awesome as it is, seriously that stuff HOLDS) expands 3 times and if not used carfully would look messy... because of this I used a Super-Glue based 2-part epoxy.

## Step 9: You are done! Metal Rubik's Cube complete.

Congrats! Contact me if you have any questions while building one.

Additional Note: I left the center piece (originally covered by white stickers) out that shows the engraved "Rubiks" logo. While solving I found it had a good impact in identifying that side and it looks cool (my opinion).
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purplerain3 says: Jun 8, 2012. 5:29 PM
Wow! This is awesome! I am so grateful for this post. My dad is blind and his wife is legally blind. They are coming down to visit for father's day. I'm always looking for something new to add to the trip and this will be perfect! In case anyone out there was checking specifically for activities or games blind people can enjoy- my dad loves to play- bop it. You can pick one up at walmart for about \$18 usually. http://www.hasbro.com/games/en_us/bopit/
purplerain3 says: Jun 12, 2012. 4:49 AM
My attempt. I'm going to give it to my dad this weekend for Father's day. =)
SaiyanKirby says: Jun 21, 2008. 1:53 PM
Another thing people don't know is that unless you take the cube apart and put it back together wrong, there will always be an even number of incorrectly solved centers, unless they are all correct. That being said, if you can solve a Rubik's Cube with a beginner's Layer method, then you can at least make sure 5 of the centers are correct while solving, thus the last will with automatically have to fall into the right direction.
P4nz3r says: Aug 31, 2008. 9:21 PM
that's not true: centers never move, they can only spin in place the opposite centers are always opposite all other pieces can move, but corners stay as corners and non-corners stay as non-corners
kelseymh says: Oct 14, 2008. 10:31 PM
The terminology of "incorrectly solved centers" is just relativity: either the centers are fixed (and always solved) while the sides and corners move around them, or you "solve" a framework of sides and corners in situ while the corners move through that framework. Arguing about which perspective is "right" is equivalent to arguing about the "reality" of centrifugal vs. centripetal forces.
gtig (author) says: Oct 15, 2008. 10:20 AM
The centers are not "always solved" in the true sense of the word. Arguing about which perspective is "right" does merit some gravity. According to Rubiks there is "only one solved state" which is denoted as "all faces of 9 squares having the same color". However this is not one solution, there are hundreds (thousands?, I am lazy today and don't want to research the math, anyone else game) of possible "true" states that merit the cube being "solved" by Rubik's rationale. That is because even in a solved state... the 6 centers still have 4 possible states each of rotation without you knowing if it is in the "original pre-scrambled state". Only with a supercube can you truly know if you solved it 100%... as the centers have an arrow denoting the "truly" solved or unsolved state of the center peices. That is of course if you want to get down to that level of solving... if Rubik's solution befits your lifestyle... so be it.
jray5 says: Feb 16, 2012. 1:54 PM
No, there is only 1 solved state. The centers are fixed with the edge peices rotating around the cube, in the x, y, and z vertices. So if we are looking at the blue face, and the orange face is to the right, then there is an edge piece in between them that is both blue and orange. This piece needs to return to that same spot. That particular piece has two faces, which cannot move Independently of each other, and must be in that particular spot to be correct. There is only 1 solution to the Rubik cube, and only 1 state that fits the bill.

kelseymh says: Oct 15, 2008. 11:26 AM
Good points. I was using "solved" in the same sense as Rubik: the visual (or tactile, given this I'ble's topic :-) appearance of the exterior surfaces, rather than the internal degrees of freedom.

Something I don't know is whether it is possible to manipulate a cube such that a given center (or combination of centers) can be rotated relative to the edges and corners, while ending up with the same solid-color faces. This is your second point; it may in fact be impossible given the engineering of the joints.

As for the number of solved states, we can do the math here. The corners provide a reference frame -- because each one has three unique colors,
their positions relative to one another are fixed, so therefore there is only 1 solved state for them. With the corners fixed, each edge in turn can have only one position and orientation, and therefore there is also a single solved state.
That leaves only the four internal degrees of freedom for the six centers; the total number of such states would be 46 = 212 = 4,096.

Again, I don't know whether those states are reachable. If they are, then your discussion above about the meaning of "solved" is on point. If not, then the solution state is unique for any cube which is not disassembled and reassembled.
ScavengerHack says: Sep 21, 2011. 11:23 AM
The centers can only be rotated in pairs. So instead of 4^6 = 4,096 states. We have (4^6)/2 = 2048 states. If there are arrows on the faces, then only one will be the solved state. Rotating the centers in pairs is not difficult however. So getting the "quadrilateral symmetry" for the tiles is not needed.
gtig (author) says: Oct 15, 2008. 1:45 PM
There are permutations that allow for cycling the center in a supercube, they are asked about a lot on boards, and I don't know them by heart. thanks for hitting the math... so there are 4,095 possible solutions that are not true... very interesting. That being said... I hate supercubes. lol.
gruntking741 says: Apr 8, 2009. 5:31 PM
Grandpa: I solved it!!!! Kid:Solved what? Grandpa: Supercube Kid: In like what, a week? Grandpa: 72 years!!! Kid: You have no life (Grandpa has a heart-atack and promtly dies)
Sagar Gondaliya says: Jan 14, 2009. 7:43 PM
ditto
spock155 says: Feb 14, 2009. 12:40 PM
double ditto
majorson says: Nov 7, 2011. 12:24 AM
Now Learn how to solve a Rubik's Cube (Instructable):

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-solve-a-Rubiks-Cube-for-the-first-time/

Majorson.
Finderzkeeperz says: Jun 20, 2011. 10:28 PM
Wow, what a cool idea! I may have to try that.
bumper44 says: Feb 3, 2009. 12:00 PM
My record for solving is 1:41. Here is a video of me solving a Rubiks cube!

amalinis says: Mar 19, 2011. 12:50 AM
Haha nice try... but my friend made it in 1:19 :D
Rabidrock says: May 28, 2009. 11:20 PM
I don't believe when you "scrambled it" you were actually randomly scrambling it. I think you were making it seem scrambled while following a strict method to make solving it easier. One indication of this is the fact you used "2x speed" during scrambling, and many of the motions you made were just jogging the cube or shaking it to appear as if you were rotating the sides. Next time you want to post yourself solving it, don't use sped up video, and don't cut the film. Make it one solid cut. That way I could see if you were setting the cube up more clearly.
Kelzzy says: Jul 9, 2011. 2:34 PM
If he did that he would be one heck of a smart dude... and well, someone who has that much time to think, plan, and do all of that just so he can solve the rubicks cube might as well figure out a way to solve it.
Toxicity says: Aug 8, 2009. 10:27 PM
I can solve in 1 m 34 s. He is actually solving it. He is using the algorithim from the booklet.
chicopluma says: Jan 10, 2011. 7:12 PM
this looks realy elegant, so classy
sixsidedmorlock says: Jan 5, 2011. 9:36 AM
I like this a lot. The hardware you found is excellent. Nice work.
trogdoroth says: Sep 23, 2010. 6:44 PM
I think your thinking of "radial symmetry" but it's not really a big deal.
HannahLegutki says: Dec 16, 2009. 1:26 PM
Im not here to r=write a big paragraph about centers or anything, i just have one question: where do u get the tiles?
MegaMaker says: Jul 21, 2010. 3:58 PM
This is explained in the instructable.
adamthiede says: Feb 24, 2010. 9:10 PM
Where did you get the tiles? Hardware store or online?
MegaMaker says: Jul 21, 2010. 3:58 PM
He/she explains this in the Instructable.
NIronwolf says: Apr 29, 2010. 1:34 AM
Your missing center piece also hides any rotation that may have cropped up on your one non-symmetric piece.  ;)

Bravo!   Looks particularly good on your counter top.  hehe
Aug 13, 2009. 3:20 AM
nice pictures looks like chocolate!
and7barton says: Apr 26, 2010. 12:43 AM
How about actually MAKING Rubik's Cubes FROM chocolate ?
I don't mean real ones that articulate ! - But miniature ones, perhaps 1.5"  in width, with the actual colours on them, and edible. That would be a challenge to a chocolatier. Abother idea, and simpler, might be to make DICE from white chocolate, with the dots on them.

neonix says: Apr 26, 2010. 12:12 AM
Wow this actually looks very visually pleasing. I'd make one just for regular use! Nicely done.
EpicGamer says: May 22, 2009. 7:51 PM
purplemutant says: Feb 28, 2010. 11:27 PM
A blind person probably has a screen reader. That wouldn't help them with the pictures. But, they could show this to a sighted person and have them help them make the cube.
bassclarinet23 says: Nov 9, 2009. 1:29 PM
They can't...some one could make it for them.
11richie21 says: Jan 15, 2010. 10:29 PM
maybe someone should make a Braille computer monitor
bassclarinet23 says: Jan 16, 2010. 4:47 AM
Do it! It'd be extremely challenging though.
sonicdrive says: Jan 25, 2010. 9:14 PM
a buddy of mine has been blind since birth and he is a ip network tec for one of our local ips his laptop has a program that speaks to him everything on the screen does very well for him self lol it is funny he scares the crap out of us when he is working on the servers he keeps forgetting to turn on the light to let us know he is in there
bassclarinet23 says: Jan 27, 2010. 6:51 PM
Sounds like he manages his blindness very well.
sonicdrive says: Jan 27, 2010. 7:27 PM
yep very very well
jugglingninja33 says: Sep 9, 2010. 3:00 PM
My step-dad is blind. He owns a race car team. Here's his website: http://followadream.org/

You should check it out! He also has a computer that speaks to him and this thing called a Braille-and-Speak that he uses like a note pad. They make many useful items for the blind, like devices that can tell you what color something is so you can match your clothes. He's a really nice guy.
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